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Wild land protection fight will go on, trust vows  

Credit:  29 May 2013 | www.heraldscotland.com ~~

A move to win a special designation giving legal protection to Scotland’s wild land has failed in the Scottish Parliament, but the John Muir Trust (JMT) has vowed to continue the fight.

The wild land charity said it was disappointed that Holyrood’s Public Petitions had decide to close the petition it had presented calling for a national wild land designation. Disappointed also that the Scottish Government had for now set its face against it.

Stuart Brooks, JMT chief executive, said that at least the debate had led politicians across the spectrum acknowledging that Scotland’s wild land was of national importance and needs more robust protection.

“Whatever today’s decision, this is an idea whose time is coming,” he said.

In the meantime, the current planning system was failing lamentably to afford wild land the protection it needed, the JMT claimed.

A JMT statement pointed to recent planning decisions by the Highland Council when officials recommended ‘no objection’ to large scale wind farm developments that “…could lead to the loss of vast tracts of core wild land and the destruction of peat bogs that lock in great stores of carbon.”

John Hutchison, JMT Chairman, said: “Wild land should be afforded the same status as National Parks and National Scenic Areas, because it is too precious to be fought over.

“As Scottish Government Ministers acknowledged, 58% of our best wild land lies outwith existing national designations.”

Source:  29 May 2013 | www.heraldscotland.com

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